Slingjaw Wrasse

Slingjaw Wrasse

Epibulus insidiator

The Slingjaw Wrasse is a very peculiar fish because it folds its jaw under its head when not in use and extends it from its body when it needs to catch food. The jaw functions like a straw in order to capture its prey using suction.

Watch the Slingjaw Wrasse extend its jaw:

Young fish are brown with small white stripes. As the fish get older, coloration varies from shades of brown to electric yellow. Fully grown males have dark bodies, an orange/yellow back, and a white head with a black line through the eye.

Slingjaw Wrasses reside in coral rich areas such as reefs and lagoons, and can be found as deep as 130 feet.

Did You Know?

This fish's mouth can extend to half its body length.


The Slingjaw Wrasse feeds on small crustaceans and fish found in the reef.


This species normally grows up to 14 inches.


The Slingjaw Wrasse is found in the Indian Ocean from the Red Sea to South Africa, and in the Pacific Ocean from Southern Japan to New Caledonia. They also reside in the Hawaiian and Tuamoto Islands.

Population Status

This species is not threatened.


Larger fish and sharks

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